Stars and Civics through after FNB Cup drama 09.12. 2006
Cortesy by Namibiasport
African Stars and Civics qualified for the FNB Cup final after a day of drama at Windhoek's Independence Stadium that was overshadowed by two serious injuries to Blue Waters players. Blue Waters defenders Bullet Gaingob and Getzen Ndiharine were both concussed after clashes with Civics' Rudi Louw and Ellington Tjirimuje respectively and after lengthy delays, both were rushed to hospital.
The injuries cast a shadow over a heroic performance by Civics who overcame the loss of red-carded Franklin April to score an emphatic 2-0 victory.
April was sent off in the 52nd minute for remonstrating?? with the referee, but Civics rose to the occasion with an inspired performance of defensive grit and some sublime attacking moves.
Rudi Louw provided the inspiration with two brilliant goals in each half. In the 22nd minute he broke free in the centre of the field, beat Blue Waters' defence and steered the ball past a stranded Charles Uirab.
After April's dismissal Blue Waters turned up the pressure, but a quick counterattack by Floris Diergaardt in the 71st minute found Louw outside the box, who dropped his marker to score in the corner.
In between Civics defended courageously and battled for each ball, none more so than Jamu Ngatjizeko, Brian Gurirab and Donnely Nel. Ngatjizeko nearly made it 3-0, but his cracking 66th minute shot bounced off the crossbar and narrowly missed crossing the goal line.
But despite Civics' great display, it was the injuries that dampened proceedings as Blue Waters coached Shepherd Murape acknowledged after the match.
"After the first injury to Bullet I tried to raise the morale, but our players were down and they could not participate anymore."
Civics coach Helmut Scharnowski paid tribute to his team and expressed confidence in winning the final. "I am very happy to have such a strong team. Even with ten men, Civics dominated the match. After this performance I'm confident we will win the cup," he said.